TRENTON, NJ – COVID-19 continues to pick and choose who gets infected in New Jersey as Governor Phil Murphy has imposed new restrictions in addition to his 10 person limit on indoor private gatherings. This week, Murphy shut down indoor sports and outdoor gatherings. However, indoor meetings of support and addiction groups such as alcoholics anonymous are COVID-19 free zones and not affected by the new limits. Governor Phil Murphy is slowly easing New Jersey into a lockdown during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Murphy strongly advised families to stay within their bubbles…unless you’re at a swank restaurant posing with the owner in his new “Stay the F– At Home” hats, then you’re ok.
Yesterday, Murphy said news reports of a second lockdown are nothing but rumors, then immediately began to impose restrictions against the public.
Governor Phil Murphy last night signed Executive Order No. 204, which pauses indoor practices and competitions for youth and adult sports from Saturday, December 5 at 6:00 a.m. through Saturday, January 2, 2021. The EO also lowers the outdoor gatherings limit from 150 people to 25 people, effective Monday, December 7 at 6:00 a.m.
“As we battle the second wave of COVID-19, we must continue to take all steps necessary to prevent needless infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from this deadly virus,” said Governor Murphy. “While there is hope on the horizon in the form of several vaccines, in the interim, we are taking these steps today to protect our communities. It is our intention for indoor sports to resume in the new year, but this can only happen if our state remains committed to the fight against COVID-19.”
Indoor Youth and Adult Sports
Indoor sports practices and competitions, including group, competitive and/or organized sporting activities for youth and adults, will be prohibited starting Saturday, December 5, at 6:00 a.m. until Saturday, January 2, 2021. This prohibition will not impact collegiate and professional sporting activities. Private fitness classes, lessons, and trainings at gyms, studios and similar locations are permitted to continue.
Wedding ceremonies, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities are not subject to the outdoor gatherings limit. All other types of gatherings, such as a high school football game or an outdoor concert, will be limited to 25 individuals. Athletes, coaches, referees and other individuals necessary for a professional or collegiate sports competition are not counted towards the 25-person limit.
For other adult and youth sports occurring outdoors, the number of individuals necessary for a game or practice can exceed the 25-person limit, but only if no individuals who are not necessary for the event, such as spectators, are present.
Outdoor gatherings continue to be subject to strict social distancing restrictions, including the requirement to wear masks whenever it is not possible to social distance.
Addiction Support Groups
Indoor meetings of addiction groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, are not limited to 10 individuals, but will instead be limited to 25 percent of the capacity of the room in which they take place, up to a maximum of 150 individuals.